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February 09, 2009

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By establishing a blog, you're already showcasing your brand. What you need to be concerned about is how you manage that brand so it portrays you in the best way possible.

* What kinds of posts could they write? How often should they write?

They should write posts talking about the things that interest them (positively or negatively) in the field they want to work in. That is, riff intelligently about the field. Chronicle new ideas, reflect on some issues, be constructively critical. You're showing that you're an active thinker in the field.

How often? I try to hit a post a business day. I don't get there, it's more like 3-4/week, but it's my goal. More than one a day I think puts a burden on your audience. May seem too frenetic. Tweets are for short thoughts, blogs are for more reflections. Of course, it may depend on your field; maybe it's important that you're processing and reacting to an ongoing slew of announcements of new products, pieces, etc (ala Engadget or Gizmodo).

* What other advice do you have for a new blogger wanting to put his/her best professional foot forward at a time when the blogger really needs to be visible?

Pick a good name (.blogspot or .wordpress is okay, but have a good 'meme'), and pick a professional design. Ideally, have a branding that follows through on Twitter, FaceBook, LinkedIn, etc. Make it easy for people to follow (make your RSS feed easy, and have an email link, ala FeedBlitz). Have different topics, and list your categories. Have a blogroll of people you follow. Do follow other folks, go out and comment on their posts; let people know you're active and supportive.

Great thing to do Michele, and good luck to all!

Great post -- I actually wrote a paper about this. I interviewed bloggers Rosetta Thurman, Trista Harris and Sean Stannard Stockton and they told me about how blogging has accelerated their career and gave advice to people who want to accelerate their careers through blogging. See http://www.nonprofitalternatives.org/images/PerspectivesOnBloggingNPSector.pdf

I really liked all the blog resources here and at the wiki. Yesterday I did live blogging with CoverItLive software....It required some major concentration on my part, and I didn't do it perfectly. (The window I embedded in my blog wasn't quite wide enough for my material). But it was really cool. If you don't know this resource. I'd suggest taking a look at CoverItLive. http://www.coveritlive.com/
I'm definitely going to live blog again.

Thanks, everyone, for sharing your thoughts. Great advice!

Good suggestions from others... I'll add the following:
>> Blogging for personal branding may be more productive as an ongoing strategy than a job-hunting one when you're in a crunch. Branding takes time...

>> That said, knowing that you want your blog to represent you is a good start. Consider defining what you want the blog to be about - for a "personal branding" blog, you don't want to just post about whatever comes into your head. It should be about the area(s) in which you want to be seen as a thought leader or expert.

>> Don't be afraid to let your blog show your personality - but make it your professional personality. :-)

>> I find a commitment of one blog post per week is a good pace. I think it's frequent enough so people won't lose interest in monitoring the blog, but far enough apart that I have time to ruminate on a good topic. It takes me several hours to write a blog post, so I can't be doing it every day at this point. (I don't know how you do it, Michele - very thoughtful posts far more frequently than I could pull off...)

>> To be visible, find ways to get your blog out there... answering other's blogs is a terrific start - especially Learning Circuits and like forums. Respond to hot topics on other's blogs - I've found some of my favorites by following links when I was reading a comment trail on a particularly interesting post. Personally, I generate readers when I teach, and when I present at conferences, plus I put my blog URL in appropriate e-mails and other communications. Getting listed in eLearningLearning has also helped.

Hope that helps. Best wishes to those of you on the job hunting trail.

My Blogging Your Way Out of a Job... and Into a Career presentation is related to this, and The Gen Y Guide to Web 2.0 at Work is also somewhat related too. =)

Tips:
- Read. A lot. Read blogs, books, and anything else you can get your hands on about the field or industry you want to be in. This will give you plenty of material to write about.
- Join the conversation. Find other bloggers and comment on interesting posts. If you have more to say, write a blog post and link back.
- Write about your experiences and what you're learning from them. Write about what you do and how you can do it even better. Teach people as you learn.
- Write at least once a week. You don't have to write every day, although you'll get the most benefits from blogging when it becomes a natural part of the way you do things. Learn something? Blog. Do something? Blog. Got through another week? Blog about your achievements and your plans for the next week.
- Create value. Don't worry about the number of readers you have or the number of comments you get (or the lack of either). Write things that are useful for you, then use that practice to write things that are useful for others, and then keep your eyes and ears open for opportunities to help others. When you answer an e-mail with generally useful information, spend a few extra minutes on putting that into your blog, where it can create more value for others. Think of ways you can help others, and use your blog to reach more people than your initial audience.

Good luck and have fun!

I'm late to the party, so not much left to say but here are a couple of additional thoughts :-)

- Get into the habit of writing regularly.
- Write about what interests you.
- Make friends and link to other bloggers. Add your point of view.
- Finally, repeating advice from others, always leave comments and connect.

Michele - I applaud you doing this. I hope that maybe someone in the group can help to collect this and you can post back out. There's really good stuff here.

I'm actually wondering about spending time blogging when you are actively job seeking. The start up time on blogging is often long. There's is big time long term value, but is there short term value for a job search?

If you are a new blogger, there are some additional thoughts in:

http://elearningtech.blogspot.com/2008/12/new-blog.html

I would highly recommend the trick of engaging in interesting conversations with some of the bigger bloggers in the persons space.

For example, if you are in the world of eLearning, you should definitely engage me around one of my conversation topics.

Michele, your post has given me an idea for a post of my own. Thank you.

I'm a licensed real estate agent who blogs about real estate. The purpose of my real estate blog is personal branding in order get hired by a potential buyer or seller of real estate in my trading area. In essence I'm a "job seeker" 24/7/365.

I'm certainly not an expert in this but my advice for new bloggers is to be your best professional self when blogging to create your personal professional brand. Always post your own original content.

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